Milwaukee Bucks guard Malcolm Brogdon suffered a partially torn left quadriceps tendon during Thursday night’s game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, an injury that the Bucks announced Friday is expected to keep him out for six to eight weeks.
With just over 9 1/2 minutes to go in the second quarter on Thursday, Bucks swingman Khris Middleton stole the ball from Wolves guard Jamal Crawford, then passed the ball ahead to Brogdon, who raced down the court for an uncontested finish. After landing, though, Brogdon quickly went to the floor along the baseline and remained there while team medical personnel came out to assist him:
Jim Petersen relayed on the Wolves’ broadcast that he’d heard Brogdon say, “I felt something pop,” a frightening comment to come attached to a non-contact injury. Eventually, Brogdon needed to be carried off the court and back to the Milwaukee locker room, avoiding putting any weight on his left leg as he exited the floor:
Malcolm Brogdon helped off the floor with a left leg injury pic.twitter.com/SiNByGRJME
— Hoop Ball Fantasy (@HoopBallFantasy) February 2, 2018
Shortly thereafter, the Bucks made an official diagnosis that ended his night:
Malcolm Brogdon has a left quad tendon strain and will not return tonight.
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) February 2, 2018
Brogdon finished with four points in 9 1/2 minutes of floor time. The Wolves would go on to a 108-89 win led by their two All-Stars, guard Jimmy Butler (28 points, six assists, four rebounds) and big man Karl-Anthony Towns (24 points, 11 rebounds, three assists). It marked Minnesota’s first loss under interim coach Joe Prunty, who’d led the Bucks to four straight wins after taking over for fired coach Jason Kidd last week.
While the initial diagnosis of a quad tendon strain likely made Bucks fans feel a little better than what they might have feared after seeing Brogdon hit the deck and hearing about the “pop,” it remained to be seen just how significant the injury really was; after all, as TonyParker and KawhiLeonard have taught us, quadriceps tendon issues can cause big, big problems.
Malcolm Brogdon left the Bucks locker room on crutches with a stabilizing cast on his left leg. Was on the phone and respectfully declined to talk with media, which is understandable considering the circumstances.
— Matt Velazquez (@Matt_Velazquez) February 2, 2018
The other shoe dropped Friday afternoon, when the Bucks announced that further testing had revealed some bad news:
This morning, [Brogdon] underwent an MRI and subsequent examination by team physician Dr. William Raasch at Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin. The exam revealed a partially torn left quadricep tendon that is expected to sideline Brogdon for 6-to-8 weeks.
Brogdon, the reigning Rookie of the Year, has continued his steady play in the backcourt for the Bucks this season, averaging 13.5 points, 3.4 rebounds and 3.3 assists in 31 minutes per game while shooting 48.6 percent from the field, 37.8 percent from the 3-point line and 88.2 percent from the foul line. The 6-foot-6 guard checks off a lot of boxes for Milwaukee, serving as a starting point guard, a backup behind early-season acquisition Eric Bledsoe, a versatile defender who can check three different positions, and a spot-up floor-spacer working away from Giannis Antetokounmpo’s actions, among other roles.
Losing him for an extended period — between 18 and 26 games, according to the current timeline — deals a significant blow to the Bucks, who now sit at 27-23, in seventh place in the Eastern Conference and only three games ahead of the ninth-place Detroit Pistons, who just added star power forward BlakeGriffin. That the Bucks lost Brogdon just one night before the highly anticipated return of exciting forward Jabari Parker — in eerily similar fashion to last year, when Parker suffered a season-ending ACL tear on the same night that the Bucks welcomed back Middleton from the hamstring injury that had kept him sidelined for months — is almost too brutal to bear.
The Bucks have some major decisions to make this summer, and were hoping to get a couple of months of full-squad participation to help figure out which path to take as they try to steer the organization into what could be a promising future. Now, they’ll have to wait until mid-to-late March for their next chance at getting a good look at how everybody fits together. (That Brogdon’s tear is partial rather than full, which likely would’ve been season-ending, is the sort of small mercy you’re supposed to thank heaven for in trying times.) While they wait, Prunty and the rest of the Bucks will have to go about the business of trying to secure postseason positioning, starting with Friday’s matchup with the New York Knicks.
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